Christmas is a celebration of the fulfillment of God’s promise to humanity.
In the beginning, Bible records, God created the heavens and the earth. He created man in his own image and to have fellowship with him. He blessed them.
However, the blessedness in Genesis 1-2 was cut short by man’s disobedience in Genesis 3. Man is cursed, banished from the garden of Eden, and the fellowship with God is broken. But with the reality of human falleness and hopelessness, God breathes hope to the human situation.
Right from Genesis, He makes a promise of a “seed of a woman” who will crush the head of the serpent; “and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel, (Gen 3:15). This verse has been referred to as protoevangelium; the first announcement of the gospel.
The restoration of the Baraka/blessings of Gen 1 and 2 was promised. However, this restoration/redemption was not going to be instant, but will roll out progressively.
Sin is serious. Therefore solving this human enigma will require more than human efforts. It must involve divine initiative and intervention for humanity to be rescued its helpless state.
Sinfulness and guilt was not going to be atoned for by covering oneself with leaves but by subtitutionary death of a life-thing. Meanwhile animal blood (life) had to be shed as it awaited for the perfect sacrifice (the promised ‘seed of a woman’) who will remove sin once for all. The fulfillment of this promise took several generations; levitical priesthood becoming a shadow of the reality to come in fulfillment of Genesis 3:15.
The promise of a “seed” or offspring in Gen 3:15 and the message of blessings that was eclipsed by the fall of man is revived in the Noahic covenant. Again in the midst of human wickedness (Gen. 9:1-4,8-11), God blesses Noah and his sons: Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth (Gen 9:1).
In Genesis 12, God in his redemptive agenda for mankind calls Abraham and makes a covenant with him. He promises him land, nation and blessings. The promise, “and all people on earth will be blessed through you” was going to be accomplished through his “seed”. And subsequent generations became inheritors of the eternal promise. Out of Abraham would come a nation (Israel) that will be God’s vehicle of bringing blessings to entire world. The promise of the seed remained.
Later in history, God made a covenant with David, 2 Samuel 7:11-16 and Psalms 89. He reaffirms his former eternal promise of a seed/offspring. He promised David that an “offspring” after him will establish the throne of his kingdom forever, 2 Samuel 7:11-13 (it does not in strict sense refer to Solomon thought he inherits the throne from his father). These promises are made to David, but David like Adam was a human representative in the covenant.
The prophets also expounded on the promise affirmed to David, In that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious, (Isa. 11:10-12).
Man always broke his part of the covenant but God remained faithful. God further promised to make a New Covenant. ‘New’ does not mean that it deviates from the old covenant but it builds up on it, guaranteeing better thing to come. The New Covenant promises a new heart, the law placed directly within the heart, a responsive attitude toward God’s law (Jer. 32:39). The new covenant takes the redemptive story to a higher level. In the New Covenant, Gentiles would come to know Yahweh, (Isa. 49:6; Ezk. 36:23’37:28).
All the covenants God made in the OT became fulfilled through the seed/offspring in the line of David, Jesus Christ. The incarnation of Jesus decisively dealt with the power of sin, Satan, and death. Indeed, the evil forces tried to strike his heel (in the cross), but he crushed the head of the serpent; triumphing over them by the cross, Col 2:15.
It therefore matters that Mathew in his account (Matt. 1) traces the lineage of Joseph to Abraham through King David; Luke traces it even further to Adam (Lk 3). The promise was specific and had to be fulfilled in its specifics. It was not through a Marakwet (my tribe) or any other Gentile that the offspring would come from but from the line of David.
An Encouragement this Christmas- Promises of God must come to pass- Many generations (around 42 to Abraham) patiently waited for the promises of God to be fulfilled in their times but it never happened. But that did no cancel the promise. The promise remained. God is faithful to thousands upon thousands of generations. He cannot forget his word, or change his mind along the way. Are you praying for someone/something or patiently waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled in your life? Don’t lose hope even when the fulfillment delays. Christmas season is a reminder that God’s promise stands. Jesus promised to come back soon; it is now two thousand years since the promise was made. The promise remains “I am coming soon!”.
Are you looking forward for the fulfillment of his promise?